By Lance Jenkinson
Sunshine’s batting card was a scene of devastation on the first day of its top-of-the-table clash with Newport-Digman in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2.
The Crows were shredded by some devastating bowling by Bulls spinner Amal Mahathelge to be all out for 147.
With the Crows seemingly having laid the foundations for an imposing score, Mahathelge came on to take 7-14 and leave the line-up in tatters.
While acknowledging the precision bowling of Mahathelge, Crows captain Troy Stone felt like his batsmen contributed to the carnage.
“We started off really well and then we had a massive collapse,” he said.
“Their spinner ripped the game apart
. “It was some bad shot selection from our group.
“He put the ball in the right areas and capitalised on our poor batting.”
Sunshine seemed to be coasting after seeing off the new ball. Stone (49) and Sam Magnano (10) combined for 62 for the first wicket and all seemed cruisy.
While Stone was the Crows top scorer, he felt as though he let down his team by not going on to record a bigger score.
Same could be said for the other set top order batsmen Usman Quddisi (31) and Asela (30).
“One of the top three scorers should’ve gone on to get a 60 or a 70,” Stone said.
“I sort of take responsibility for that.”
The major concern for Sunshine was the lack of fight from the middle to lower order.
The last seven Crows batsmen combined for a 19 runs and the pitch was not exactly a minefield.
“The way we crumbled and weren’t willing to fight it out was a bit disappointing,” Stone said.
“We lost 8-31, so that’s disappointing.”
Stone knows the fabric of Sunshine’s team is stronger than that.
He is putting it down to a rare off day and will use it as a valuable learning tool in the lead-up to finals.
“I hope it doesn’t repeat itself,” Stone said.
“We’ve got enough experienced blokes down the order that we’ll bounce back from it, we’ll learn from it and improve.”
Despite the disappointing first day, Sunshine still has a cricket match to win. Newport-Digman is 1-20 in reply, still needing 128 runs to win.Aluthge (30).